China is once again in the process of reforming its science system to achieve its goal of becoming the world's leading science nation. China’s objectives are ambitious and stand in the center of nationalist development strategies. But despite all the invocation of its own cultural and systemic identity, the models and benchmarks for China's rise as a scientific nation are global by nature.
After around three decades of repeated reform efforts and increasingly strong investment, the Chinese government announced another attempt of transformation of the science, technology, and innovation (STI) system in 2012. One of the reasons was dissatisfaction with the efficiency of the science policy measures taken so far, which, despite all the successes, have fallen short of the government’s expectations. However, the issues tackled by these recent transformations were very similar to the problems that repeatedly had been in the focus of earlier science policy debates on China, and which obviously still persist, such as waste or duplication of funding resources, lack of trans-institutional cooperation, continuing dependency on foreign key technologies or an inefficient evaluation system.
This project takes a look at the recent reforms of the Chinese science system and their results. Are fundamental changes looming or are old (systemic) paradigms again being confirmed? Is science in China able, with all its potential, but also its systemic limitations, to hold what it promises for national development as an ideological basis and foundation of economic development?
The scope of the project also leads over to the latest developments regarding the preparations for the next national long-term plan for STI, which is supposed to serve China’s overall development.